2014 Coming of Age Day

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The ceremonies of the Coming of Age Day (成人の日, Seijin no Hi in Japanese) are held every year on the second Monday of the year, to celebrate the young people who have reached the age of majority over the last year. On this special day, most young women will wear a kimono with long sleeves (called furisode), which indicates that they are not yet married. Some young men will also be wearing traditional clothes on this occasion, but truth be told nowadays most of them are wearing western suits. While heavy snow was covering the streets of Tokyo last year, the weather was excellent this year.

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While the main events of are usually held within city halls or hotels with large meeting rooms, many among the young adults will also chose to visit a temple or a shrine after the official ceremonies. Meiji Jingu is always a popular choice, and you will without a doubt find there some “new adults” immortalizing in pictures this special day for them with their parents.

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To be perfectly honest, I highly suspect that some of the women wearing kimono at Meiji Jingu are models whose role is to attract tourists and the mass of photographers (or maybe they just came there because they like their picture to be taken or because they represent a kimono rental shop for all I know…), so that regular people joining the ceremonies don’t get overly bothered. It might just be a conspiracy theory of mine, but it would be a good idea indeed, that could be used in other occasions instead of having some security guard running after photographers… Anyway, from my experience anyone wearing traditional clothes on that day will easily let you take his/her picture, as long as you speak the international language of “a nod of the head with a smile”. 😉

Talk to you soon…

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Happy New Year… and the new Fuji X-mount lenses roadmap!

Happy New Year everyone! May the year of the horse bring happiness to you and your loved ones 🙂

I was fortunate enough to spend a few days in France to visit my family back in Saint-Etienne over the holiday season, stopping a couple days in Paris on the way, where I was greeted by this beautiful sunrise on my first morning there.

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We started the year with some interesting announcement from Fuji during the 2014 CES in Las Vegas.

Black X100s
The launch of a black version of the X100s was a purely cosmetic announcement. Specs are totally identical to the ones of the current model of X100s, with the black version aiming at those who want to remain inconspicuous. With so many improvements implemented in the X100s over the X100, I just wish Fuji had done just one more to include a screen with better resolution, but apart from that I don’t know of anyone with a X100s who does not enjoy the experience. Full press release available here.

XF 56mm f1.2
The launch of the XF 56mm f1.2 (to be shipped in early April) was a very exciting announcement for the X-photographers community. You don’t need to see any sample image from this lens to know it is going to be a mind-blowing lens in the right hands. Well, I can’t see the future and i have no insight on what stocks will be available at launch, but I would advise anyone who wants this lens to pre-order it as early as possible, because it has the potential to quickly become so popular that it could become hard to find it available (if you don’t want to pay a higher price on eBay…). Full press release available here.

XF Lenses Roadmap
Fuji also shed some lights on the future of the X-series, with an update to the X-mount lenses roadmap going into the beginning of 2015. Of note, Fuji is going to launch 2 fast zooms during the second half of 2014 (a 16-55mm f2.8 and a 50-135mm f2.8) that will further extend the choice of optics for X-photographers. I am very curious to see the size and weigh of those lenses, as they risk to defy the purpose of using a mirrorless and compact system, but it is still to early to have the final specs… Full press release available here.

Meanwhile, I should get my hands on the new XF 10-24mm f4 as soon as it ships to the public. I have been desperately missing this wide-angle range for landscapes with my X-system and cannot wait to give it a try. Stay tuned for samples later this quarter… Until then, have fun and take many beautiful pictures!